Black Press Media, which owns and operates 84 Canadian and 42 American local news sites, is licensing Village Media’s custom content management system, Villager. The companies say the move will empower Black Press to better serve local communities with new site capabilities and state-of-the-art digital publishing and community-based marketing programs. Villager is licensed to a collaborative partner network which includes 44 sites across Dougall Media in Northwestern Ontario, Glacier Media in Western Canada, Great West Media in Alberta and other U.S. partners, in addition to the 29 Village Media-owned sites it operates in Canada and the U.S. Village Media says the collaboration significantly increases the scale of the entire Canadian network, which is now able to execute national advertising campaigns, sponsored content and conduct market research, while paving the way for new models of sustainable local news operations across 145 Canadian communities.
The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) says five of the 10 editorial staff at BuzzFeed’s Toronto operation, who became members of CWA Canada Local 30213 in 2019 and landed their first collective agreement in fall 2021, have been notified they are being laid off. The union says all five work for the affiliate shopping network, writing “listicles” and other consumer choice-focused content. Five other CMG members at BuzzFeed Canada will not be affected. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told staff via email on April 20 that the company was shutting down its news division and laying off roughly 15% of its total workforce — about 180 people.
The Global Task Force for public media is calling on Twitter to correct the designation of four of its members, which have been labelled as “Government-funded Media”. The group says the misleading label was applied without warning or consultation to the accounts of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), CBC/Radio-Canada, Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and Radio New Zealand (RNZ). The organization points out that Twitter’s own policy defines government-funded media as cases where the government “may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content,” which is clearly not the case with the aforementioned broadcasters, whose editorial independence is protected by law. Earlier this month, Twitter also applied the “Government-funded Media” label to several BBC accounts, before changing it to “Publicly-funded media” after objections from the public broadcaster. The BBC is also a member of the Global Task Force, in addition to France Télévisions (France), ZDF (Germany), and SVT (Sweden).